The technology entrepreneurship competition launched by the Institute for the Integration of Latin America and the Caribbean (INTAL) reflected the enormous innovation capacity of SMEs in the region. Some 144 start-ups from 16 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean enrolled in the competition. Firms specializing in biotechnology, drones, 3D printing, renewable energy, robotics, financial applications, the Internet of Things, and big data, among other exponential technologies, presented their proposals to improve regional integration processes and promote trade through creative technology projects.
The five INTAL D-Tec finalists were Increase, Less Industries, Booster AgTech, Engeenuity, and Kymatec, all pioneering companies in their fields with enormous disruptive potential within their markets. Increase has developed a mechanism for retailers throughout Latin America to manage, oversee, and balance the income they make from credit and debit card sales. Less Industries provides remote, robust, optimized metering of energy use to make energy consumption more efficient. Kymatec allows users to generate savings of up to 90% on the agrochemicals used in farming through a powerful scanning tool that determines the state of health of crops. Engeenuity designs and produces systems that use photonic technology to inhibit the natural reproductive cycles of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses, thus reducing the need for chemical compounds and protecting the environment. Booster takes advantage of big data techniques to bring relevant agronomic information on crops and the weather to small agricultural enterprises.
A jury made up of Martín Migoya, CEO of Globant; Emiliano Kargieman, CEO of Satellogic; Hernán Kazah, founder of Kazsek Ventures; Cristian Breitenstein, minister of production, science, and technology for Buenos Aires Province; Francisco Cabrera, minister of development for the City of Buenos Aires; and Gabriel Casaburi, the IDB’s leading private sector specialist, analyzed the initiatives and evaluated the finalists during a live competition that formed part of the event to mark INTAL’s 50th anniversary.
The winner, Increase (in Spanish), received US$ 10,000 in prizes. The company will also benefit from a six-month empowerment process sponsored by the Endeavor Foundation Argentina to outline a strategic investment plan and the possibility of promoting itself at ConnectAmericas, the IDB’s first social business network.